As everyone knows, Mike Holmgren was in town on Monday and Tuesday to have a sitdown with Lerner to discuss things. No one really knows what was discussed or if their was a wink-nod type thing going on, but it's reported that no monetary amount was talked about, which tells me they were just discussing the the position he would hold.
As of yesterday, it is reported that Holmgren is scheduled to make another appearance to Cleveland in the next few days. Given that the Browns have been in contact with the NFL about the Rooney Rule, it leaves the opinion that Holmgren is about to be hired.
That being said, with Holmgren potentially coming to Cleveland, their could be some major changes taking place this offseason.
As many of you know, Mike Holmgren comes from the Bill Walsh tree which means he's going to bring the West Coast Offense with him. That's great really, because with his guidance, he can take decent Quarterbacks and turn them into superstars because of how friendly that type of offense is to a Quarterback. Another bright spot there, is he'll want to bring an Offensive Coordinator with him who knows the West Coast Offense inside and out and who Holmgren trusts. Being that Brian Daboll isn't qualified right now to be an Offensive Coordinator for a highschool team, this is great news for the future of the Browns offense.
But the mentioning of the changes brings me to my next point: Who all is going to be replaced?
Every team that Mike Holmgren ever coached for was a 4-3 team. With that in mind, the concensus is he'll want most likely want to bring in his own guy to be the Defensive Coordinator and make the transition to the 4-3. I really like what Rob Ryan has done with the lack of talent he has to work with, and I think if given a few years to get the right kind of playmakers in here, we could have one of the top defenses in the league. But the reality of the matter is new regimes mean new faces. I'd hate to see Ryan go because of his attitude, smarts and love for the game, but the reality is he could be gone in the wake of Holmgren hiring one of his guys to orchestrate the defense.
This brings me to the Head Coach position. I, like many people, was calling for Eric Mangini's head at the halfway point of this season. All he ever talked about was this "process" and how everything they do is part of the "process". Until the last 3 weeks, the whole process talk was just that, talk. But recently we've been noticing something. This team is actually unified and truly buying into the team concept and what Mangini is trying to do. Again, the reality is most likely Mike Holmgren will want to bring in a Head Coach he's familiar with and knows his style of football to run the team. But is that whats best for this team?
With all those changes possibly happening, it makes me wonder exactly how this team will look next year. Slowly but surely, this team is starting to show really good improvements in all aspects, and I gotta believe that has to do with Mangini and Ryan. I can't help but think this team can only get better under their coaching and vision. I'm afraid that with a whole new coaching staff, the team will again fall back into mediocrity and hinder us for another 2 or 3 years. With the mindset and players Mangini has now, I can't help but think this team is moving in the right direction and with a few more years to add key pieces to the team, we actually could be contenders.
Will Holmgren keep the pieces in place that are making the team improved, or will he totally gut the coaching staff and bring in his guys? We will see in the offseason, but for the sake of the team, I hope that Holmgren keeps Mangini and Ryan in place and lets them run the 3-4, while bringing in an Offensive Coordinator he trusts to orchestrate our offense. I think that is the best way to continue in the right direction, but we'll have to see.